Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Falls Short In GNAC Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s basketball game this afternoon. The AMCATs fell short of winning a Great Northeast Athletic Conference crown as Albertus Magnus defeated the hosts:

PAXTON, Mass. (02.23.13) – Junior Darius Watson (New Britain, CT) scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebound to led the #2 seed Albertus Magnus men’s basketball team to an 87-80 victory over #1 seed Anna Maria College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Activities Center.

With the win the Falcons (24-4) become the first team since Norwich University in ’04-05, ’05-06 to win back-to-back conference titles, while the AMCATS snap a 17-game winning streak and drop to 20-8.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) and Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) each notched double-doubles for the AMCATS. The senior captain poured in a team-high17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and made 3 steals, number 40 also notched 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and pulled down 11 boards. Starters Joseph Barillo (Dania Beach, FLA) and Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) each added 10 points for the AMCATS in the loss.

Pacing the Falcons, senior Jefferson Lora (Bronx, NY) contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds while freshman James Jennings (Stratford, CT) also scored in double figures adding 17 points on 4-for-9 from beyond the three point mark.

The AMCATS started slow out of the gates as Albertus opened with consecutive baskets by Lora and Jennings for a quick 5-0 lead. Anna Maria then responded with a 12-0 run en route to a 12-5 advantage with 13:47 on the clock. Click was instrumental during the run, accounting for nine of the AMCATS’ twelve points.

Albertus stopped the run with a jumper in the paint by Lora to cut the deficit to 12-7 but again the AMCATS responded with a strong 8-1 run for a 20-8 advantage and their biggest lead of the game with just over ten minutes to play in the half.

The Falcons would chip away at the lead answering with a 14-2 streak to tie the game at 22-all with 5:08 remaining in the first stanza. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch, with Watson scoring eight of the final ten points of the half for Albertus. Anna Maria countered with a trifecta from Barillo and a pair of Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) free-throws to carry a 36-32 lead into intermission.

Trailing to start the second half, Albertus outscored the AMCATS 8-2 and with 17:20 to play in the game we had a tied ballgame at 40-40.  Bristol hit a jumper in the paint to gain the two point advantage for the AMCATS but Jennings responded with a NBA 3-pointer to give the Falcons their first lead of the second half at 43-42.

AMCAT Joey Barillo sank a trey of his own and Click hit one-of-two from the charity stripe to push the AMCATS ahead 48-46. On the ensuing play Watson, after being fouled underneath, sank two freebies to tie the game at 48-48 with 14 minutes still to play. The two teams traded buckets and were still tied 63-63 with 6:57 remaining.

With 6:19 ticks on the clock, the Falcons then erupted to score eleven unanswered points, opening up a 12-point cushion at 77-65. Albertus’ Watson was a key factor in the run, contributing 6 points, while Jennings added the other five.

Anna Maria refused to go quietly; five consecutive free throws from Daye, Tyler Delorey (Worcester, MA) and Click cut the Falcon lead to 81-76 with just under a minute to  play but AMCATS couldn’t get any closer than five points finally falling 87-80 to the visiting Falcons.

Anna Maria held the slight shooting advantage on the night 43.8% to Albertus’ 40.3%. Albertus connected on ten three-pointers to just three for the AMCATS. Anna Maria out rebounded the Falcons 46-41.

With the win Albertus qualifies for the NCAA Division III tournament, selection announcement is set for Monday afternoon at 12:30pm. Anna Maria will wait until Monday evening for an ECAC Tournament invitation.

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Extends Streak To 17, Advances To GNAC Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s basketball game. The AMCATs clawed past Saint Joe’s of Maine and earned a spot in Saturday’s conference title match:

PAXTON, Mass. (02.21.13) –Senior Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) dropped a game-high 25 points, including six three-pointers, to spark the Anna Maria College men’s basketball team to an 75-63 victory over Saint Joseph’s College during the semifinal round of The Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament at The Fuller Activities Center on Thursday night. The AMCATS are now 20-7 on the season and will advance to Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon; they will host Albertus Magnus College at 2:00 pm.

In the process of scoring his 25 points, Click topped 1,700 points for his collegiate career. He was on fire in the second half, hitting 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Senior Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) also played well, scoring 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor while leading the AMCATS with six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Junior Joseph Barillo (Dania Beach, FLA) also notched 10 points, while sophomore Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) contributed 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals off the bench.

The Monks were led by junior Steve Simonds (Steep Falls, ME) scoring a team-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including five three pointers, while teammate Matthew Medeiros (Westport, MA) added 16 points and a game-high 9 rebounds.

The two teams matched up evenly through the opening ten minutes of the game, with the AMCATS clinging to a two-point lead at 17-15. Post grad Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) converted a three-point play in the paint and the AMCATS had their biggest lead of the first half at 20-15. The Monks responded with a jumper by Medeiros and a trey from Simonds to even the score at 20 with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.

The Monks lead swelled to 29-24 after another Medeiros 3-pointer, however a pair of Peterson shots from the charity stripe and the AMCATS had cut the deficit to 31-28 heading into intermission.

Simonds led all first half scores with 12 points, and the Monks held a healthy 22-11 advantage on the boards. Anna Maria shot a dismal 34.4% from the field compared to the Monks’ 50.0% from the floor in the first stanza.

The Monks opened the second half with a 9-6 run to push the lead to 40-34 at the 16 minute mark. That’s when AMCATS’ Anthony Click took over, he drained the first of his six threes on the AMCATS next possession, igniting a 16-3 run for the hosts. Over the next 4:17, Anna Maria would go from six points down to a seven point advantage with Click connecting on three more trifectas and adding an assist to once again send #AMCATNation into a frenzy.

Saint Joseph’s guard Jordan Tripp would swish a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 5 points with 10 minute to play but it would be as close as the Monks would get the rest of the night. Anna Maria rolled off a 19-10 run capped by Click’s last three of the night, to drive the score to 72-55 with three minutes left on the clock and the AMCATS would cruise to the 75-63 victory.

The Monks finish their season at 17-10, while the AMCATS consecutive win streak now stands at 17 games. The AMCATS are currently tied with Amherst College for the longest current winning streak in NCAA Division III men’s basketball.

Anna Maria will host Albertus Magnus College in the GNAC Championship at 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon.

Mass. College Sports: Mid-Week Check In

By Matt Noonan 

It’s hump day (Wednesday), which means its time for our weekly ‘Mid-Week’ check-in, so here are some headlines and news swirling around Massachusetts:

* Northeastern University’s men’s ice hockey team snapped a three-game skid with an overtime win last night in Amherst, as the Huskies topped UMass, 5-4 in overtime. The win provided Northeastern with two very important points. However, if the Huntington Avenue unit wants to make the Hockey East tournament, they’ll have to start their quest with back-to-back wins against a Providence Friars squad on Friday and Saturday, which won’t be easy.

* Sticking with the Hockey East, Merrimack College remains a point ahead of Boston College in the standings. The Warriors beat the Eagles this past weekend in North Andover and haven’t dropped a single contest this month. Yet, they did tie Providence on Sunday, but that’s not a loss.

* Anna Maria’s men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 16-games last night, as they defeated Emmanuel College in the first round of the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) tournament, 85-76. Brad Peterson recorded a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the win, while Anthony Click filled the stat sheet with 16 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two steals and one block. The AMCATs will continue their quest toward conference glory on Thursday when they host St. Joe’s of Maine in the semifinals.

* The NESCAC hockey tournament kicks-off this weekend and you can certainly expect some great hockey to be played on numerous sheets of ice. Bowdoin College claimed the top spot in the men’s conference, while Middlebury secured the number one seed in the women’s conference. The Polar Bears have appeared in the championship match five times since 2000, while the Panthers seem determined to earn their third consecutive title. Yet, could Amherst College or Williams College be the spoilers?

* Bentley University’s women’s basketball team recently earned the top spot in this week’s Division II poll and will attempt to carry that momentum into this evening’s tilt against Franklin Pierce. According to yesterday’s press release, the Falcons are one win away from earing their third straight Northeast-10 Conference crown. Bentley clinched a share of the conference title last weekend with a win over Southern New Hampshire, but can secure the title for themselves with a victory against the Ravens.

* WPI’s Chris Bartley, who coaches the men’s basketball team, appeared this past Sunday on D3Hoops.com’s Hoopsville, an online radio show that airs twice a week. Bartley talked with host Dave McHugh about the Engineers season, as well as his team’s two setbacks to MIT and Springfield College. Bartley’s bunch will host the NEWMAC (New England Men’s and Women’s Athletic Conference) semifinals and finals this weekend at Harrington Auditorium, and will play in the tournament’s first game against the winner of Babson College and Clark University.

* Finally, I’d like to congratulate Nichols College junior Ryan Sheehan, who has been named to the 2012-13 Capital One All-America Division III Men’s Basketball First Team. He earned a spot on this team by being selected by the College Sports Information Department of America (CoSIDA). Sheehan tallied a team-high 554 points in 25 games this season for the Bison, as well as led the unit with 100 free throws, too. His other team highs included 52 trifectas and 125 rebounds. The Bison season concluded last night with a loss to Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Commonwealth Coast Conference quarterfinals.

Mass. College Hoops: Tuesday Night Roundup

By Brian Willwerth

Tuesday marked the beginning of numerous conference tournaments and below are the men’s basketball results:

LITTLE EAST CONFERENCE (LEC) QUARTERFINALS

Rhode Island College 62, UMass Dartmouth 58 – Jake Laga had 14 points for the 8th-seed Corsairs, but it wasn’t enough as four Anchormen scored in double-figures.

Southern Maine 85, UMass Boston 65 – in the 4 vs. 5 matchup, Rahshjeem Benson’s had 18 points for the Beacons.  But four Huskies scored in double-figures.

COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE (CCC) QUARTERFINALS

Curry 76, Western New England 54 – The top-seeded Colonels advanced to the semifinals, as Sedale Jones led four Curry players in double-figures with 22 points. Damon Alston had 26 points in a losing effort for WNEC.

Gordon 81, Roger Williams 59 – The 2nd-seed Fighting Scots had a balanced attack, with David Dempsey leading the way with 20 points. Luke Hamilton and Park Thomas each had 16.

Eastern Nazarene 78, Salve Regina 64 – In Quincy, Jaylen Owens had 19 points as the Lions advanced to the CCC semifinals.

Wentworth 73, Nichols 69 – Behind 24 points from Colin Johnson, the Leopards stayed alive in the CCC tournament.   Irving Eggleston had 23 for the Bison.

GREAT NORTHEAST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE (GNAC) QUARTERFINALS

Anna Maria 85, Emmanuel 76 – Make it 16 wins in a row for the AMCATS. Brad Peterson led the way with 21 points for the top seed in the GNAC.

St. Joseph’s (Maine) 73, Emerson 68 – The season is over for coach Jim O’Brien’s squad. Michael Thorpe had 19 points in a losing effort.

Johnson & Wales 72, Suffolk 71 – Chris Torres had 23 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Rams lost a heartbreaker in Providence.

MASSCAHUSETTS STATE COLLEGEIATE ATHLETIC CONFERNCE (MASCAC) QUARTERFINALS

Salem State 86, Worcester State 78 – All five starters scored in double-figures for the Vikings, led by Bryan Ortiz’s 17 points. Dane Jobst had 24 for the Lancers.

Fitchburg State 63, Bridgewater State 60 – Zach Valliere had 17 points as the Falcons picked up the victory on the road. Michael Lofton had 20 points in a losing effort for the Bears.

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Finishes Season On 15-Game Winning Streak

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about the men’s basketball team that finished their season on a 15-game winning streak:

Paxton, MA – The Anna Maria men’s basketball team has set a school record for consecutive wins, closing out the 2012-2013 regular season with a 77-74 win over Great Northeast Athletic Conference rival Mount Ida College.  This was the 15th consecutive win for the men’s basketball team, breaking a record previously set by the ’91-’92 and ’92-’93 squads. Senior Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) led the way for the AMCATS, scoring a team high 21 points to go along with 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.

As part of Senior Day, Anthony Click (Springfield, MA), Daniel Beliard (Trumbull, CT), Brian Conrad (Holden, MA), Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA), Jose Pena (Lawrence, MA), and Brad Peterson were honored before playing in their final regular season home basketball game.  Bristol provided stability at both ends of the court, scoring 11 points to go along with 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 4 steals.

Also contributing in the victory, junior Joey Barillo (Dania Beach, FL) scored 10, while sophomore Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) chipped in with 9 points off the bench.

Meanwhile, the Mustangs placed four players in double figures. Sophomore Jeff McNair (Brockton, MA) led all scorers with 22 points.  Freshman John Fortes (New Bedford, MA) had 17 points, while teammates Cam Walker (New Bedford, MA) netted 15 and Terace Macklin (Brockton, MA) contributed with 11 points.

The Mustangs opened up the first half establishing an early 12-6 lead, with Macklin scoring six of his eleven points in the first five minutes of the game.  The AMCATS kept within striking distance, and Daniel Beliard Jr. tied the game at 28 apiece with 5:23 remaining.  The Mustangs offense responded with an 11-2 run to close out the half, with McNair scoring 7 of the 11 points, giving Mount Ida a 39-30 lead.

The AMCATS came out of the locker room determined to chip away at the Mustangs lead, as they went on a 9-2 run to open the half.  Barillo hit a deep 3-point attempt to pull Anna Maria close, 41-40 with 16:42 remaining.  Senior Brad Peterson was able to give the AMCATS their first lead since the early minutes of the first half with a fast break dunk, set up by a well-placed passed from teammate Michael Gorman (Methuen, MA).  This was Peterson’s second dunk of the contest, giving the AMCATS a 46-45 advantage.

While both teams traded baskets for the majority of the second half, the Mustangs were finally able to break through with back-to-back baskets from McNair and Walker to give Mount Ida a 68-63 advantage with six minutes remaining.  Ida held onto their lead late into the contest, and with 1:47 remaining, they were up 74-70.  Joey Barillo took charge for the AMCATS, converting on a feed from Daye with 1:11 remaining, cutting the Mustang lead to 2.  After a Mustang turnover, Barillo buried a three-pointer to put Anna Maria up 75-74 with 33 seconds remaining.  Two Javier Bristol free throws provided the team with a 77-74 advantage with eight seconds on the clock.  Bristol then sealed the deal defensively, blocking the final shot of the game with two seconds on the clock, giving the AMCATS the victory.

Mount Ida has finished their season with a record of 7-18 (3-15 GNAC).  With the record win, Anna Maria has finished their regular season with an 18-7 record (16-2 GNAC).  The AMCATS have finished with the best record in the conference, and will host Emmanuel College in round one of the conference finals at the Fuller Center on Tuesday February 19th at 7:00 PM.